Cablevision vs FiOS – Choosing Bundled Cable Options

Cablevision vs FiOS - Choosing Bundled Cable Options

Cablevision vs FiOS? Which should you choose?

We are finally getting close to moving into our new home, and of course my number one priority is getting the Internet up and running. There are two choices for our area, Cablevision or Verizon FiOS, and both are relatively similar. We had both at our old house, so we are fairly familiar with the customer service pros and cons of both. The bigger issue is the labyrinth of bundled deals available. How do you determine which deal is the right one? I called both companies to get more information, and was very surprised by the results!

First, I made a list of what we needed. If it were up to me, we would have the rock bottom cable option and the fastest Internet speeds possible. However, Sarah likes having cable channels to surf and the options from free OnDemand menus, so we will need some kind of full cable package. We also pay $145 a month with taxes for our Verizon Wireless plan, so we really don’t need a cable phone option. So really, our priorities are a basic cable package, fast Internet, and either a completely free phone or no phone option. Simple, right?

Try telling that to Cablevision. They have every option you’d like, as long as you want cable, Internet and phone bundled at one price of $84.95 a month. Plus $7.99 for the cable box. So really, they want $94 a month. I point-blank asked the rep if we could drop the phone service, and he informed me it would become more expensive without the phone. He did offer me the “economy triple play”, which clocked in at $70 (plus $7.99 for the cable box). What makes it economy? Instead of a few hundred cable channels, you get 40. Plus that phone line we won’t use.

Verizon FiOS was slightly better. We could opt for a “build your own double play” package, with a basic HD cable set (140 channels), and “Quantum” Internet service, no phone (hallelujah!) for $74.99. There would be an additional $6 charge for the set-top box, but even so, that’s a $15 savings over Cablevision. The catch is that to get that price, we would need to sign a two-year contract.

Even so, I am leaning heavily towards the FiOS deal. We get the cable that Sarah wants, the Internet I want, and we are not spending an additional $10+ a month on a phone we don’t need. $10 isn’t much, but that’s $120 extra per year, or $240 over the span of two years. Plus Verizon will toss in a $100 gift card if we sign for two years. Verizon will further sweeten the pot on the two-year contract by locking in that $74.99 for the full two years. Cablevision will only lock us in for the one year, at the end of which we would have to renegotiate or face a much higher monthly costs.

Honestly, both are more than I would like to pay for cable and Internet. But we don’t have a lot of options. And instead of looking at this as being forced into a two-year contract, I look at it as locking in a halfway decent price for two years. At least Verizon isn’t forcing us to buy a phone we don’t want, though I do find it ironic that the cable company is insisting we buy phone service, while the phone company is totally ok with us skipping the phone!

Those are the options I’ve got; what choices and compromises did you have to make when you decided what would go in your home?

Categories: Rants and Raves

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5 replies

  1. I would grab that $75 deal with two-year contract in a SECOND! Even the Cablevision deal is sweet … we have no FiOS, so Time Warner has a lock on broadband (DSL is crap here) and the pricing is higher. We have the phone, but still pay $130/month (+$5 for the box) – and that is AFTER renegotiating a few months ago!

  2. We signed up for FIOS when we moved into our house a couple of years ago. Everything was find until we renewed the service. Something broke around that time and just before Christmas we had a tech here every day for 5 days and no one could find the problem. They replaced essentially piece of equipment but nothing helped until there was some sort of master rebuild of the service somewhere offsite. I still don’t really understand what happened or how it got fixed, but it was a nightmare for a couple of weeks. But every person we talked to at FIOS really went out of their way to try to help and to be helpful, so I really have no complaints on the customer service side of things which was enough to keep us with the service after such a debacle.

    Our costs are higher, because we have 2 DVR’s and 2 set top boxes. We have one step up from the basic cable package I think, and we do get the home phone as well, I need the fax sometimes and I find a landline oddly comforting somehow. We come in around $120/month with all the boxes, which cost almost as much as the actual service. If you don’t have a bunch of boxes, then you’ll do much better on the cost.

  3. FiOS service is awesome. The video on the channels looks great, the internet is fast, the people are mostly pretty good to talk to. I had a weird billing problem early on, which no one could seem to solve, but at least the error was in my favor. For some reason, it wasn’t billing me for the TV service portion of the bill. It ended up resolving itself when I let the free 3 months of HBO they gave me bill me for the fourth month before I deactivated it. Makes no sense, but it worked.

    So, the technical support has been good to us. The billing… well, it’s Verizon, I imagine that they have like 20 legacy systems held together with string.

    My one annoyance is the contract. Even after it expires, if you want to change your plan at all, they make you re-up it for two years. At least that was true about a year and a half ago when I last changed the plan. Which is ridiculous. I’m already a customer, have been for over three years, I have no desire to switch, but I don’t want to be shackled to it if we end up moving to a non-FiOS area or our financial situation changes.

    Grr. Still annoys me just thinking about it. At the time, I wanted to get the change done with, because it was going to save us money. If I have reason to want to modify our service again and they are still pushing the contract, maybe I’d try fighting harder to see if they’d waive it.

  4. And in an ironic twist, Cablevision is suing Viacom for bundling channels together:

    So who is forcing Cablevision to sell that phone line not everyone wants? Maybe they should sue those guys next. Oh wait…it’s different when the forced bundle means more money for THEM. Right.

  5. I’m an authorized Verizon Rep. I will pay $40 per qualified lead for
    Verizon FIOS services. If you know someone with Bad credit or has been
    told they need a deposit ,let me know I can help them get the services.
    Email me with Verizon Fios Referral in the subject line. I will get back
    to you ( Please make sure the service is available in their area)